Own-it | Intellectual Property Know-How for Creative Businesses

Faking it

Faking it

Published: 03.11.08 at 09:00

Much in the headlines last week was the news that Google's row with the US publishing industry over its controversial Google Books project (first covered by us way back in 2005) has settled for the not inconsiderable sum of $125 million. Round-up readers with long memories may recall this is the mass scanning project that controversially, Google extended to in-copyright books without the copyright holders' permission. The deal struck last week means a proportion of the loot will go to authors and publishers whose works were scanned without their say so, with other money going to a new body to collect cash on behalf of rights holders who in future grant Google the right to sell their works online though Google Books. The Guardian has more details.

The increasingly IP-enforcement-focused computer game industry was under fire last week for its heavy handed tactics against suspected file-sharers. After the successful campaign of Topware Interactive to in recover damages from those unlucky enough to be busted downloading their pinball game, Atari has been engaging in a bit of stern letter writing in relation to those it believed to be sharing its Race07 driving simulator. Unfortunately for all concerned Atari appears to have fingered the wrong people when its lawyers wrote to a Scottish couple of advancing years demanding £500 to settle Atari's claim for copyright infringement. Cue media storm when the couple complained that the games publisher was making unwarranted threats. The BBC has more on that story.

Finally this week, we thought you might be tickled to hear about Gary Boulter, purveyor of dodgy CDs. Having been convicted of criminal trade mark infringement, Boulter appealed, arguing that there was no infringement under the Trade Mark Act because the fakes were of such poor quality that there was no danger of the illegal use of the record companies' marks causing confusion in the minds of consumers. The court was unsurprisingly less than sold on this argument, not least because if you are using an identical mark for identical goods, there is no need to show likelihood of confusion in order to show infringement. You can read more about the case from Out-law.

We'll be back next week...

Photo credit: robinvanmourik


Please note that this article provides general information only but is not to be regarded as legal advice. You must take advice from a specialist lawyer in relation to your specific circumstances. Further, you should seek additional legal advice when dealing with parties based in other parts of the world or works originating from other parts of the world as the legal position may vary.


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